MARINE GEOLOGY, vol.190, pp.367-382, 2002 (SCI-Expanded)
The development of the Strait of Istanbul is also one of the principal results of the tectonics which led to the evolution of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) in the Marmara Region 3.7 Ma ago. High resolution seismic profiles from the Marmara entrance of the Strait of Istanbul show a folding which occurred after the deposition of the parallel reflected Tyrrhenian sediments. Over the Tyrrhenian strata, a fondoform zone of a deltaic sequence and marine sediments of the latest sea level rising are present. These sediments also display syn-depositional folding. This situation implies that a local compressional stress field was created over the area probably since the Wurm Glacial age. This recent variation of the tectonic regime in the northern shelf of the Sea of Marmara may indicate a significant change in the development of the NAFZ through the Sea of Marmara. This variation of evolution of the NAFZ affected the latest development of the Strait of Istanbul via clockwise rotation of the Istanbul and Kocaeli peninsulas by right-lateral shearing between two zone bounding faults. This rotation has led to the development of NNE-SSW left-lateral faults in the Strait of Istanbul and local compressional and tensional areas explaining the compressional structures seen in the southern entrance of the Strait of Istanbul. Therefore, the latest Mediterranean-Black Sea connection was established by means of the sufficient deepening of the Bosphorus channel by a variation in the evolution of NAFZ through the Sea of Marmara. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.